New York City, 1946
New York City, 1974
France, Paris, 1989
California, 1956
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If you do reasonable work, it will have a life beyond the purpose for which it was originally designed

This paraphrase of an Elliott Erwitt quote epitomises his most famous photos. Erwitt is a successful commercial photographer who always carries a small Leica camera to capture black and white snaps for his own amusement. Over time, these “snaps” eclipsed his prolific commercial success.

Elliott was born in Paris in 1928. His photography career began when he moved to New York. He cold-called from a shortlist of names of people who might be able to help him find work as a photographer. They included Roy Stryker, Robert Capa and Edward Steichen. Roy Stryker hired him to do work for Standard Oil Company and later created a photo essay documenting Pittsburgh.

In a show of some of his favourite photos, his body of work speaks to the human condition in a way that both serious art critics and casual observers appreciate. Images he took years ago seem to “look better and better and better” and have transcended the originally intended purposes.